NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Changes to New Orleans' evacuation protocols are on the table as state and local officials will participate in readiness scenarios on Tuesday.
The possible changes depend on the threat level and what evacuation routes might be compromised, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.
"We are actually going to have a rehearsal of concepts. It's called a rock drill at GOHSEP. Officials from New Orleans are going to participate in that because we have to look at a number of things that we may have to do differently, not just about our evacuation system in when we call it, but how we flow the traffic, because we may not be able to go through south Texas next time, and that's one of our primary evacuation routes," Edwards said.
GOHSEP is digging to find out how much rain is too much to handle in certain areas of New Orleans still vulnerable to flooding.
A spokesperson with the Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office said in a statement:
"The longstanding trigger for New Orleans for a mandatory evacuation and the City Assisted Evacuation Plan (CAEP) is a Category 3 hurricane. To be clear, there are no new official triggers for evacuations. With our partners at the State, we are always revisiting our plans and have several options available, depending the actual threat at the time. There are various factors involved including whether mandatory or voluntary, for certain portions of the city or the entire parish."
Edwards said his office is looking at more than just the category of a storm. In some scenarios, an evacuation order might be triggered by the amount of rain in a forecast.
"It's not the category of the hurricane. In fact the afternoon thunderstorm that caused so much flooding last month, it was an unnamed storm. The two storms from last year in March and August that caused flooding so that 56 of our 64 parishes were declared major federal disasters, they weren't named storms. It has to do with the forecast, and it has to do with how much rain," Edwards said. "We'll figure out what those triggers are going to be."
According to the Sewerage and Water Board's drainage operations report, 13 drainage pumps, five pumps that service underpasses and four turbines remain out of service.